How the Week 6 AP Top 25 Poll should have looked
The SEC and the ACC are equals in terms of ranked teams, thanks to Georgia’s last-second loss at Tennessee.
Among SEC teams, Florida tied for the biggest jump in the AP Poll following its 13-6 win at Vanderbilt. The Gators moved up five spots from No. 23 to their current ranking of No. 18.
But should they have moved up that far? And are other teams deservedly where they should be?
Based on last week’s results and not falling victim to massive overreactions, here’s how the AP Top 25 Poll should’ve looked based on Week 5 performances.
HOW THE AP TOP 25 POLL SHOULD’VE LOOKED
1. Alabama (5-0; 53 first-place votes) — Not only did the Crimson Tide run its winning streak to 17 games with its 34-6 victory over Kentucky, Bama has scored a non-offensive touchdown in every game this season. Plus, even though Nick Saban had to deal with the arrest of linebacker Tim Williams and QB Blake Barnett’s decision to transfer this week, his team remained focused on beating the Wildcats. A trip to Arkansas awaits. The last time Alabama visited the Razorbacks, it won by only 1 point.
2. Clemson (5-0; 1 first-place vote) — Yes, the Tigers surrendered 26 unanswered points after going up 18 at home against Louisville. But despite that, Dabo Swinney’s team held off Lamar Jackson and the Cardinals in its biggest victory of the season. Clemson is in this spot because it has one more win than Ohio State does, and because beating Louisville is more impressive than the Buckeyes’ blowout victory at Oklahoma. Deshaun Watson and company face a potential trap game when they travel to Boston College on Friday night.
3. Ohio State (4-0, 6 first-place votes) — The Buckeyes didn’t take it easy on old friend Chris Ash and Rutgers last week, leaving New Jersey with a 58-0 victory. Things get tougher with this week’s home game against Indiana, which is coming off a 24-21 overtime win over Michigan State.
4. Michigan (5-0; 1 first-place vote) — The Wolverines survived their toughest test by beating Wisconsin by a touchdown. Unless one of its upcoming opponents moves up in the polls, Michigan won’t face a ranked team until it visits Ohio State in its regular-season finale on Nov. 26. Get used to seeing even more of Jim Harbaugh over the next eight weeks.
5. Washington (5-0) — The Huskies finally faced a ranked team and pounced on the opportunity, shellacking Stanford at home, 44-6. Like Michigan, Washington has just one matchup against a ranked opponent left on its slate, and that will be at No. 24 Utah.
6. Houston (5-0) — Ever since their season-opening win over Oklahoma, the Cougars have been very methodical, including last week’s victory at Connecticut. They’re probably disappointed that Louisville lost at Clemson, but they host the Cardinals on Nov. 17 in their biggest remaining regular season game.
7. Texas A&M (5-0) — After going into their game at South Carolina without four starters due to injuries, the Aggies surrendered a 75-yard touchdown on the first play from scrimmage before eventually emerging with an SEC road win. Maybe Texas A&M’s third straight 5-0 start will be the charm. Up next for Kevin Sumlin’s squad is a home matchup with fellow unbeaten Tennessee. It will be their initial meeting as SEC teams and first tussle overall since 2005.
8. Tennessee (5-0) — The Volunteers needed overtime to beat Appalachian State. They spotted Virginia Tech a 14-point lead before winning going away. They struggled in a home win over Ohio before scoring 38 unanswered points to beat Florida for the first time in 12 years. They needed a Hail Mary to jolt Georgia in Athens. They aren’t the best team in America – they’re the most resilient one. Alabama comes to Knoxville a week after Saturday’s trip to College Station.
9. Miami (4-0) – Mark Richt’s current team is in the top 10 while his old team is no longer in the top 25. Saturday night’s home game against Florida State starts a stretch of three straight ranked opponents. We’ll see how the Hurricanes’ stellar defense holds up.
10. Louisville (4-1) — The Cardinals get a bye week to regroup after their loss at Clemson. Their next game is an Oct. 14 home date with Duke.
11. Wisconsin (4-1) – After a bye week, the Badgers host Ohio State a week from Saturday. They also host unbeaten Nebraska on Oct. 29.
12. Nebraska (5-0) — The Cornhuskers get to bask in their perfect start with a bye week. After battling the Big Ten’s schools from the Hoosier State in back-to-back games, Nebraska ends the month at Wisconsin.
13. Baylor (5-0) — After barely surviving at Iowa State, the Bears get a bye before resuming Big 12 play against Kansas at home on Oct. 15.
14. Ole Miss (3-2) — After avenging last year’s loss at Memphis with a 48-28 victory over the Tigers, the Rebels can enjoy their bye week. They have to travel to Arkansas on Oct. 15.
15. Stanford (3-1) — No longer the Pac-12’s top team, the Cardinal will try to get back on track Saturday night at home against Washington State.
16. Arkansas (4-1) — It doesn’t get much easier than the Razorbacks’ 52-10 rout of Alcorn State last week. But it doesn’t get much harder than Saturday’s game against Alabama, even if it’s at home. It’s almost hard to believe that the Razorbacks are currently in the SEC West basement.
17. North Carolina (4-1) — The Tar Heels’ last-second win at Florida State nearly knocked the Seminoles out of the top 25. UNC hosts Virginia Tech this week before visiting Miami on Oct. 15.
18. Florida (4-1) — It wasn’t pretty, but the Gators managed to win at Vanderbilt. Florida hosts LSU, the first of two SEC West opponents on its schedule, on Saturday.
19. Boise State (4-0)
20. Oklahoma (2-2)
21. Colorado (4-1)
22. West Virginia (4-0)
23. Florida State (3-2)
24. Utah (4-1)
25. Virginia Tech (3-1)